This article appears in the December 1, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
As In the Peace of Westphalia: Only Principles in the Interest of Every Country Can Get Humanity Out of this Crisis
Nov. 27—Humanity for Peace on November 26 held an emergency forum (online) and exclusive showing of the documentary, 8:15 Hiroshima: From Father to Daughter. Attended by several hundreds of people worldwide, from Afghanistan to Peru, the event was titled, “No More War Crimes! International Development, Not Depopulation.” The two opening speakers were International Peace Coalition members Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and leader of the Schiller Institute; and Ray McGovern, co-founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. A report was given by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley from Syria. An edited transcript of Zepp-LaRouche’s opening address follows.
First, let me greet all of you wherever you may be watching and listening to this program. I think this is very urgent, because we are engaged in the effort to increase the mobilization of the International Peace Coalition and make it grow until we have brought the world away from the present course.
It is very clear that there is a very great danger that the continuation of the present geopolitical policies will lead to a catastrophe much worse but like the movie, 8:15 Hiroshima: From Father to Daughter, we are going to show in a little while; namely, a thermonuclear war which would end life on Earth. If not in the short term, the danger for sure is there in the medium or long term. Because if the present idea that we are engaged in a fight between two blocs—on the one side NATO, on the other side the growing BRICS combination of states—it will lead with absolute certainty to the extinction of civilization.
Only an in-depth mobilization of the population, most importantly in the United States but also naturally in Europe and all the countries of the Global South, is important to escalate until we have the force to implement the solutions, which do exist.
One extremely important component of this fight is the fight of whether the truth will be told about all of these conflicts, or whether it will be a narrative which is tailored in such a way as to legitimize this war policy. Let me start with the two regional wars which are going on, but let me say from the beginning that as important as the war in Gaza and the war in Ukraine are for all the people involved—the Russians, the Ukrainians, the NATO troops, the Israeli forces, the Palestinians—we should absolutely keep in mind that these two conflicts or wars which have their very specific histories, nevertheless, right now are simply pawns in the larger fight between these two systems.
The War in Gaza
Let me start with a few words about the situation in Gaza. We have now the second day of the truce in Gaza, which has been basically forced on Israel because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had originally said that there would be no negotiation until Hamas is completely destroyed and all hostages are freed.
Obviously, it was a combination of the worldwide mobilizations and demonstrations in all the Islamic countries, but also in many cities in the United States and the streets of Europe. And naturally what the Chinese media called the “great power” influence; meaning the Nov. 15 meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden in San Francisco, and a lot of diplomatic activities. Delegations of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and the Arab League are going to China, Moscow, London, Paris, and some of them going to Washington.
All of that is definitely an influence, but the danger is that these four days will be over on Tuesday, and there is the extreme danger that the war will continue. And that in a situation where it is unbelievable what is happening. The good thing, if there is anything good in a nightmare of this dimension, is that the world public could see with their own eyes at least glimpses of the degree of destruction in Gaza, of the enormous plight of the Palestinians. 2.3 million people in cold weather and rain, almost no housing left, no food, no water, no medical supplies. And that has been going on for many weeks.
Now people have been pushed to the south; many of them gathering near the Rafah crossing between Israel and Egypt. It is an unbelievable situation, which has been called by many human rights organizations “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide”; that Gaza is being turned into a complete wasteland, which is the intention. The idea is to make it impossible for people to live there, at least no Palestinians.
It is now also becoming clear that the whole narrative that the Al-Shifa hospital was really the place where the headquarters of Hamas was supposed to be in a tunnel system underneath, and that Hamas was using the Palestinian population as a human shield, has turned out to be a lie. There are also reports now that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) knew that the actual headquarters of Hamas was in another place, 8.5 km distant. So, this is a situation where the truth is coming out.
One important statement was made by António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who said in a very emotional speech that the attack by Hamas on October 7th did not happen in a vacuum. This caused a completely hysterical reaction by the backers of Israel, the United States, Germany. Why was the reaction so hysterical? Because it punctured the Israeli narrative that this was all a sudden attack.
The diplomatic mission that was mentioned accomplished a very important thing. China’s proposal that an immediate two-state solution for the Palestinians must be put on the agenda in the context of a more general Middle East peace conference. We are mobilizing today and in these days of the truce to get as many forces as possible to back up the idea that only a peace conference can really resolve the situation.
When the Arab League-OIC delegation arrived in Moscow on Nov. 21 apparently, the Russians announced that they are preparing a new security architecture for the entire Middle East. That is something that my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, already proposed in 1975 when he proposed an . This would be an economic development plan, greening the deserts, but the Oasis idea being a symbol that the oasis is manmade, and you can make the deserts green with modern technologies. You can have industry, agriculture, infrastructure, to have a real economic development plan for all of Southwest Asia as the only way to get peace. This is important, and it’s important that many people are picking up on this idea, which we have also published already.
Everybody knows that Israel would never do what they are doing without the full backing of the United States. Biden is facing re-election, and he has to worry about the fact that there is a vast majority of the U.S. population in favor of a ceasefire for Gaza. There are now a growing number of cities—Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit, and many others—that have passed resolutions. Therefore, I can only appeal to the people watching from the United States, but also from Europe, to go into the streets and fight for the Middle East peace conference and security architecture and the Oasis Plan. Confront your politicians with this so we get a growing mobilization to put this on the table.
War in Ukraine
Let me quickly mention the second war—the one in Ukraine. In the United States in particular, and here and there also in Europe, even the mainstream media are admitting that Ukraine lost the war; that the U.S. has not allocated additional money in their budget so that the supply of arms is becoming a small trickle. Germany, which is now claiming that they want to double the funding for sending weapons to Ukraine, however is confronted with a massive bankruptcy of their economy, so it is doubtful that this can really go through the way some warmongers are planning it.
Naturally, the story here also as in Gaza on October 7th, that there was an unprovoked war cannot be upheld any longer. There is general recognition that it was the broken promises of NATO not to expand to the east by one inch which caused the prehistory of the Ukraine war. That it was the attempted Orange coup in 2004; that it was for sure the Western instigated and financed Maidan putsch, and there is an incredible effort right now to rewrite the history by saying that Russia started the war in 2014 by leaving out completely the fact that it was a fascist coup to which Russia reacted with the developments in Crimea and later the Donbas.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former French President François Hollande, and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have all admitted that they only pretended to be in favor of the Minsk agreements to give the Ukrainians more time to be trained up to the level of NATO troops. Therefore the prehistory of what happened on Feb. 24, 2022, has to be taken into account. To understand all of this in the right context, one has to look at the larger strategic setting.
Germany Being Made Ready for War Against Russia Again
Now, let me brief you about something which, even if it pertains to the specifics of the German situation, I think it gives the whole story away in a very useful way for the international audience to reflect about it. Recently, the Defense Minister of Germany Boris Pistorius in a speech made maybe a slip of the tongue. Maybe it was intended, but he said that the key task was to make Germany “war ready.” Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about why Germany has to back up Israel without any questions asked because of the Holocaust.
We should remind ourselves of the German history when the German Defense Minister is again saying Germany must be made “war ready.” It’s not just Israel we have to think about; we have to think about the German history. I’m appealing to everybody to call people in Germany and tell them to get off this course.
What is this all about? I started to look into the strategic discussion of what is behind this Pistorius remark, and there is a broad discussion among the think tanks and certain so-called analysts and moderators and talk shows best expressed in a paper published by the German Council on Foreign Relations, the DGAP, in a which says that there needs to be a quantum leap in the mentality and the whole armament policy of Germany, that there must be an increase in the military production, a real war economy, there must be a massive increase in the number of soldiers serving in the Bundeswehr. And thirdly, that there must be an absolute mentality shift in the attitude of the population to this militarization of Germany, because Germany must develop as quickly as possible the most powerful and most combative modern army of NATO in Europe.
Then they propose that military production has to be massively beefed up, but given that there is no money to do that, then everything else will have to be cut. All social costs—health care, education, infrastructure, everything—are to be cut. Cut everything other than this military buildup.
How do you get a mentality change in the population to go along with this? The young people may not know history well anymore, but in the older generations there are still some people who know what it means that Dresden was bombed to the ground in a firestorm; that Cologne was flattened; many other cities were rubble fields. They have a memory, and if they didn’t experience it themselves, they know the history. They know the stories told by grandparents.
So, now there is a need to get the population to accept that war should be fought on German ground again. What this paper then says, is that to get such a mentality change, everybody from 18 to 65 should be forced to serve for one year. Those up to age 35 will serve in the military. If you are 36-65 years old, you have to serve one year in an auxiliary function to this effort. And the debate about this has to go into all pores of society—the sport clubs, the schools, the universities, the state parliaments, city councils and so forth. Every single entity in which social life takes place has to become accustomed to this future militarization of Germany. People have to be trained to accept that sometime in the future, tanks will drive to the East through German villages and towns again. If there will then be combat, bloodied troops will be coming through. They have to accept living with these pictures again. That is all in this paper.
One of the authors, a guy called Christian Mölling—never heard of him before and probably [he] should be forgotten as soon as possible again—just had a 22-minute live interview in the top evening TV show, “ZDF Heute,” (German TV2 Today), in which he develops at great length what is really at stake. First, he assumes or charges that the real goal of Russia is the coming war with NATO; no proof. Let me just say this in parentheses, the British have also put out a new white paper on China, in which they basically say the same thing. In Mölling’s case, NATO supposedly says Russia is the biggest threat to all of NATO. This British paper says the same thing about China. The reality is that it is not true.
Let me just interject this here: You should ask yourself why is it that the Global South countries, who are by far the global majority, have a completely different attitude to Russia and China? They regard these two countries as friends that are helping them to overcome their under-development and end colonialism after 600 years for the first time. Do not fall for these narratives, because they have a geopolitical intention.
So what does Mölling say? He says that Russia, when the Ukraine war ends—he doesn’t want to touch the fact that the war was lost in Ukraine for NATO, as all these other wars; the Vietnam War for the United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. All these wars were lost, but he doesn’t discuss that. He says when the Ukraine war ends, then Russia will build up its full military strength. And since it needs probably 6-10 years to do so, NATO must immediately start this arms race, given the fact that Russia is already at least one step ahead, maybe two or three. The Russian population is more willing to give up their living standards for the military than [people] in the West; therefore one has to be prepared. Sooner or later, Russia will invade the Baltics [he says].
Look at the trouble already at the Finnish border, not mentioning that the Finns just joined NATO in the sixth NATO expansion to the East, extending the Russia-NATO border by 1,300 km, which is like Russia and China moving right up to the Mexican-American border. He doesn’t mention the NATO expansion at all.
Then, he basically says this is why NATO must build up everything massively, because we have seen there was not ammunition for Ukraine. Germany will become the hub for this deployment. He says the war started in 2014. So here goes the story about the unprovoked war. And the population has to accept all this. Therefore, we have to build up a military-industrial landscape.
Then the moderator asks him if a clash is coming between BRICS and NATO. Is it inevitable? Will it happen? He says, yes, we have to make a decision. Will we go for risk, or security? We have to choose security. The danger is that Russia will try to divide the NATO countries and grab some countries. If we then throw them to [Russia] like food for animals, (using a very nasty formulation in German), then it’s too late, and the West will lose.
This is obviously just a reflection, because the German Council on Foreign Relations, not by accident, has a similarity to the New York Council on Foreign Relations. They are basically the sibling of this institution. That is clearly what is behind those forces that think that Russia has to be ruined—as Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, has said many times; that China must be contained, which is impossible because China already is the strongest economic power and has bypassed the United States in actual physical economic power. So, this is a course of absolute disaster, and it will end up like Hiroshima if we don’t change.
Peace Requires a Development Architecture
Now, how do we change this? First of all, we have to counter this narrative that Russia is such a monster intending to take over the world, because it’s not true. It is not true that China is trying to replace the imperial United States, because China has no such intentions. Both of these countries want to have a system as it is represented in the BRICS, which is based on sovereignty, respect for others’ social systems, non-interference in internal affairs—basically, the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. I think the only way we can prevent this present constellation from ending up in a catastrophe is that we have to convince the populations of Europe and the United States that we have to cooperate with the BRICS-Plus, the Global Majority of the world, and that we have to move as quickly as possible to set up a new international security and development architecture which takes into account the security and development interests of every single country on the planet.
I wrote , which would be the beginning of a discussion of what such an architecture could look like. I think this is the most urgent task—that we tell people that there is an alternative to military buildup and confrontation. Like in the Peace of Westphalia, it is possible to come up with a set of principles which allow for the interest of every country to be taken care of. That is the only way in which we will get out of this crisis.
So, I appeal to you. We have to have a new financial system, because the present trans-Atlantic financial system is in a very advanced state of its own demise. We are sitting on a powder keg of $2 quadrillion in outstanding derivatives. U.S. banks alone are sitting on several hundred billion dollars of unrealized losses which are a powder keg which can explode at any moment. So, we need a new financial architecture, a new credit system, which should then be the basis to finance the overcoming of poverty, of underdevelopment, of building a health care system in every country on the planet, of developing infrastructure as a precondition for industrialization and agriculture in every country on the planet.
We should join hands and forces to overcome the relics of colonialism in the southern hemisphere and the countries of the Global South. If we put this on the table, there is a way out of this situation. Nobody is losing, except maybe some speculators in the military-industrial complex, but we can also transform these military-industrial complex [industries] into useful production of physical goods which are for the common good of the people.
I think that is the program, and we have to get an earnest discussion about it. I’m appealing in this in particular to forces in the Global South—to help us to get the people in Europe and the United States to understand that the countries of the Global South are not the enemy. But that we need to build a world in which we all can live. This is the big moral test of humanity. Can we, as the only intelligent creative species, give ourselves an order which allows the long-term survival of us all?